Upcoming Events:

Community Meetings:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Palou Ave Streetscape Improvement Project

Please check the http://www.sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=1722 site for updates, project cost, etc, and especially look at their Barneveld to Crisp presentation and their Barneveld to 3rd presentation for details on their proposals. Contact Frank Filice with comments.

Some results from their first meeting, which focused on Palou Ave between Barneveld and 3rd St, include:

Bike Lanes on Oakdale and parking impacts between 3rd and Lane

  • If you have a bike lane you lose parking
  • If you have a sharrow you don’t lose parking

Other adjacent projects:

  • PGE utility replace project Palou to Evans in 2015
Newhall to 3rd (1600 block) - How to make more functional and help with queuing buses and vehicles
Opportunity at Community Garden and Phelps Mini Park
Greening Opportunities to break up the pavement
Pedestrian Safety

  • Improve visibility at intersections for cars and pedestrians
  • Improve the function of the 5 way at Quint/Silver intersection for drivers and pedestrians?

At the second DPW/SFMTA meeting regarding the Palou Ave streetscape improvements, bikes, pollution, vacant SFUSD and SFWater lots the 1300 block of Palou, trees and streetscape, re-routing  the 23 bus, and pedestrian safety improvements (crossings and bulbouts) were all hot topics.

This meeting focused on Palou Ave east of 3rd St only, but they welcomed comments regarding the entire stretch.

Re bikes, SFMTA wanted input on eliminating the sharrows on Palou (west of 3rd) and directing all bike traffic onto the Oakdale Ave bike lanes. At Lane, east of 3rd, it would travel two blocks south via sharrows, then continue with bike lanes on Quesada to Crisp to eliminate bus/bike conflict.  This is not part of the current scope, so it wasn't clear where funding would come from. Quesada is also not currently part of the bike plan, so further SFMTA study would have to be undertaken to put it in there.

The Palou roadway under consideration for this change is currently 18' in each direction. A comfortable vehicle lane is 12' and a bike lane is a minimum of 4'. Looking at vehicle demand vs capacity, we were told a single 12' vehicle lane on Palou would be enough to handle traffic for the next 20 years (DPW will check demand projections). To some of us, it seemed to make sense not to move bikes over to Oakdale and Quesada, but instead to do a 6' buffered bike lane all the way along Palou and a single 12' vehicle lane that would calm traffic and give the desired separation of bikes from cars and buses, thus eliminating conflict. To keep the lanes vehicle only and 18' wide means we continue to have either a 1½ lane width street or one lane here, two lanes there.  Thoughts? See their website for some images to illustrate.

In the future (20-25 years), as bus demand increases due to the shipyard development, they're talking about narrowing 15' sidewalks to 12' and putting in dedicated bus lanes on Palou (for reference, think of the red painted lanes on Church St). It seems to me this would be an appropriate time to remove bike lanes from Palou and move them over to Quesada.

Re pollution, there was concern about diesel truck traffic during the construction phase, but it seems it would only take a few months to do the actual work and air quality monitoring would be done during the work.

Pedestrian safety included "thumbnails" - 4-6' wide curbed oval spaces that force drivers to better notice intersections, corner bulbouts that narrow roadways at intersections, improved markings and lighting.

As for trees and streetscape, the desire is for a more treelined street, but concern was raised over maintenance.

All seemed happy with the reroute of the 23 bus so that it no longer had to make that funky loop down Phelps to Jerrold to Toland to Oakdale.  Instead, it would travel on Palou to Selby, then to Oakdale, bypassing the Produce Market. This fits in with the Produce Market's redesign plan in which they will be closing off to traffic on Jerrold between Rankin and Toland and re routing traffic flow to Innes and Kirkwood around the market.

As for the vacant lots in the 1300 block of Palou, DPW said they'd contact SFUSD to see about incorporate their work into a possible development of their unused property into a community garden for nearby schools.

For more information or to register your opinions, please don't hesitate to check the materials from both meetings on the http://www.sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=1722 site and send questions and comments to project manager Frank Filice at frank.filice@sfpdw.org

The next meeting will likely be in early 2015 and will focus on the conceptual designs that have been influenced by comments from the community, so be sure to speak up now!

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